PRESERVING FOLK ARTS/CRAFTS
Our organization has a passion to work for cultural, environmental, socio-economic, and educational upliftment of underprivileged artists and artisans working with languishing creative and cultural industries in rural settings. Our main area of work is Tamilnadu, UP, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh.
The organisation aims at fostering an alternative pathway for development using cultural heritage as concrete means for improving people’s livelihoods and empowering local communities. Around ten languishing folk art forms have been revitalized.
It is also involved in promoting rare and dying crafts by initiating market links, entrepreneurship skills, organizing crafts melas and bazaars, performing arts programmes of art forms such as Nautanki, Lokgeet, Bhavai, Chhau, Firkaal, Dastangoi, Powara, Telia Rumal, Kalamkari, Sohrai , Khovar, Jadopatiya, providing training and resources/raw material support thus helping the cultural artist/ craftsmen to export their cultural skill/product.
Intellectual Property Rights Protection
Capre Foundation has been campaigning for many years to preserve intellectual property rights of tribal communities.
Tribals, minorities and traditionally isolated communities, are trying to enter into the main stream of life. However, in the process of the fast track of techno-centric development many artists have either lost or are fast losing the essence and aesthetics of their indigenous crafts and craftsmanship – the ultimate fabric of our age-old institutions.
Whether it would be possible to contest this invasion or not, it should be certainly possible to preserve the memory of these rich cultural traditions and customs before they vanish from our sight.
I.P.R. protection is necessary for community based designs, patterns, meanings and shapes, so that the look and feel, colour and texture of the original is not tempered, without acknowledgment and compensation.
Capre’s approach minimizes negative impacts on the environment and reduces the carbon footprint and provides sustainable livelihoods to marginalized people. It is doing this simply by regenerating the use of natural fibres in daily life by promoting artisans who make utility items made of banana fibre, jute, sisal, water hyacinth, cane, vetiver and lantana. This is simply an effort to bring back the use of natural materials and eliminate plastics. uggesting sustainable building the four cornerstones of artisans’ sustainability:
The business opportunities presented by the harnessing and processing of natural fibres hold the promise of exponential growth, especially given the fact that consumers in developed countries are increasingly interested in choosing ‘environmentally friendly’ products. Enthusiasts for these products argue that they are a healthy, responsible, sustainable and, indeed, fashionable choice.
· Handholding the Artisan through the Value Chain
· Increasing Demand for Crafts and Strengthening Market Linkages
· Strengthening the Decentralized Production Model
· Building a Multi-Stakeholder Approach
Darohar Lok Kala Sanrakshan Project
The goal of this project is to preserve intangible cultural heritages of vanishing art forms
Since 2013, a unique initiative is underway in Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh called “Darohar Lok Kala Sanrakshan Project” to revive and revitalize vanishing performing folk art forms as a means of sustainable livelihood.
Worldwide, traditional folk art and culture face threat of loss. Life style changes are depriving the folk art forms of their context, traditional promoters and audience. In India for example, the poor folk artists, forced into hard daily labour, lack time or opportunity to nurture their art forms. The value of culture as a tool for economic development is being increasingly recognized globally.
The project is supported by Lily Bhavna Kauler our president and founder who is an NRI lecturer from Australia who is very passionate about folk arts. She has studied classical music at Allahabad University.
The folk art forms that are being promoted through an Allahabad based Ngo called CAPRE FOUNDATION are Karinga, Bhavai, Firkaal, Powada, Khadi Gammat and Dastangoi.
The project goal is to preserve intangible cultural heritages as a means of livelihood.
The vision is to rejuvenate the dying folk art forms on the verge of extinction, facilitate perpetuation of skills and make them more acceptable for present day audience.
A primary objective of the project is to ensure that artists receive training in funding submission writing, empowerment bringing in innovations and constant promotion and exposure of various folk art forms.
The project has benefited 200 rural and tribal rural and tribal folk artists (folk dancers, singers, painters and dramatists). Their art forms have been revitalized through facilitation of exchange between folk and contemporary artistes, development of new productions, preservation through documentation and promotion through cultural events. The project has led to improved income and new hopes for better life for the folk artists.
The project demonstrates innovative approaches for addressing globally relevant issues like creation of sustainable employment for people lacking formal education and safeguarding cultural diversity. This innovative project demonstrates use of culture to foster social inclusion and synergizing cultural and economic development in rural and tribal communities rich in traditional art and culture. It has established models for improving income opportunities for marginalized people by safeguarding their intangible cultural heritages like performing art forms and traditional craftsmanship as a means of livelihood.
COLLABORATION WITH HOME WORKERS INTERNATIONAL
Home based work is work done mainly by women, for a cash income, either in their homes or in a yard, garage or field near the home. Millions of women around the world take up this form of employment to earn some money at the same time as taking care of children or other relatives, or doing agricultural work. Home based workers are usually badly paid – well below minimum or average earnings. They have to work to live and when they are sick or old, they have no income. Most work to pay basic living costs for their family.
The Federation of Homeworkers Worldwide (FHWW) was formed by organizations who have been working together for a number of years. At the end of the mapping programme, in 2004, participants in an international workshop expressed their desire to maintain links and build an active federation. The FHWW is part of the international movement of home based workers and other informal workers, particularly women.
Recently, CAPRE Foundation has collaborated with Home Workers International (HWI) by establishing a local chapter of the federation at Allahabad and Jharkhand. CAPRE Foundation in support with HWI is working to support the demands of home based worker organizations for recognition and rights as workers.
CAPRE Foundation presently has about 300 workers associated with it who are working collectively in Jalpaiguri in West Bengal in Allahabad, Kaushambi in Uttar Pradesh and in Raisen District in Madhya Pradesh . These workers are working in crafts including Water Hyacinth, Banana Fibre, Lantana, Palm Leaf, Areca Nut, Tussar and Organic Cotton.
NATURAL FIBRE CRAFT DEVELOPMENT BY CAPRE FOUNDATION
Capre Foundation is a leading NGO of Allahabad working on cultural based industries. it is working on craft development with natural fibres, it is working hard to make people aware about their ‘Waste to Wealth’ concept making saleable items from what other people would class as rubbish. The agency is working on promoting green livelihoods with ten natural fibres such as Palm Leaf, Kansa/Moonj grass, Arhar stalks, Jute, Vetiver, Lantana, water Hyacinth, Banana fibre, Areca Nut Leaf and Cane in various states, it is dedicated to empowering disadvantaged people specially women who have little or no other opportunities with livelihood skills, being a service-based agency it provides artisans and artisan organizations with management, product design and development, and marketing assistance.
Through incorporating the region’s natural resources and reviving traditional arts and crafts, the organization has been homogenizing effects of globalization and has promoted sustainability. It has enabled the women to use technology to explore their entrepreneurship potential and improve their skills while keeping their endangered crafts, culture, and tradition alive.
By providing jobs and skills for the women we are able to improve the women’s standard of living and help them send their children to school. The women are paid a fair wage, offered training on quality awareness, health, savings, and gender equality. Most of the women trained by us are the heads of their households because they have been widowed, divorced, or separated, they have little or no income, are landless with few or no assets, and are primarily rural.
The organization believes that sustainable livelihood and financial literacy are necessary to eradicate gender inequality. When community based income generation involves skilled artisanship, women are motivated and mobilized to work towards better quality of business to become successful entrepreneurs.
By providing jobs and skills for the women, the foundation has enabled them to improve their standard of living and help them send their children to school. The women have been paid a fair wage, offered training on quality awareness, health, savings, and gender equality. Most of the women trained by us are the heads of their households because they have been widowed, divorced, or separated, they have little or no income, are landless with few or no assets, and are primarily rural.
Banana Fibre Crafts
A large quantity of bio-waste is generated every year from the banana cultivation. These wasted pseudo stems are a source of fine quality fibre which is highly valued in the market.
CAPRE Foundation is working for sustainable waste utilization by extraction of fibre and its conversion into various value-added products.
The organization started its banana fibre craft program from Allahabad (UP) in 2010 and then extended to the Jalpaiguri distrtict of West Bengal in 2013.
The foundation trains self help groups in fibre extraction, dyeing, plaiting, rope-making and preparation of handicrafts.
Along with promoting banana fibre craft, the foundation has also developed banana fibre extractor. This extractor can be easily operated by an unskilled person and gives maximum production output. The machine is being promoted among self help groups, rural & small entrepreneurs and farmers practicing banana cultivation. Most importantly the organization provides a 100 per cent buy back scheme for the fibre and crafts.
In Madurai city, we produce eco-friendly artifacts made out of banana farm waste, while also providing employment. We employ a workforce of around 50 rural women and uses innovative concepts to churn out products ranging from window screens, basket and lids along with six to seven varieties of bags, cups and storage containers. The cottage industry makes use of machines to braid together banana strands to strengthen them to produce 8,000 to 10,000 meters of high quality ropes along with 60 to 80 mats and 40 to 45 baskets on a daily basis.
Eco friendly yoga mats
In Madurai we are also making yoga mats are which eco-friendly, hand-woven, 100% natural (0% synthetics), hand-loomed with banana fiber (using the stem waste) and are laminated with natural rubber so they are anti-skid.The mats are soft as cotton and more durable than cotton.
they are hypo-allergenic, provides thermal comfort both in cold and warm atmospheres, is made from fibres extracted from the waste stems
Areca N.ut Craft
Areca Nut is an eco friendly and bio-degradable fibre utilised for manufacturing disposable plates and bowls as a substitute for plastic and other artificial ones.
The organization has trained nearly 60 self help groups so far in Areca leaf collection and preparation of various products, making them sustainably self employed. At present, the artisans are producing round / square / rectangle Areca leaf plates, cup, designer plates and bowls. Size varies between 4”, 5”, 6″, 8″, 9.5″,
10″ upto 12″.
The training has a clear focus on the important issue of economic empowerment of women. The targeted villages are predominantly agricultural villages with no other occupation. The literacy rate is also remarkably low.